On this bright and sunny morning here was I working with WordPress innocently oblivious of just what the Head Gardener meant by tidying up Félicité Perpétue and the shrubs she had been swamping. I had picked a few tomatoes.

Assuring me that the rose would be glorious in a couple of years, she proudly showed me how far she had got, ensuring that my tomatoes featured in the photograph to cheer me up.

By the time we visited Everton Post Office and continued for a forest drive the temperature had become quite hot.

I have already featured Robert Gill’s scarecrow in The notice attached to this home in Everton Road advises that this witty and well-made offering is one of six entrants, the list of which is available on line. We drove round for a while looking for the other four, but didn’t find any. The annual trail is clearly a Covid casualty.

Cyclamen, like these on Barrows Lane, are now lining the verges. Ours, incidentally, are already over.

Longslade View, where I stopped for these photographs, is just outside Brockenhurst. It is such a shame that it should be necessary to display notices throughout the forest forbidding overnight parking, barbecues, and fires.

Outside Pilley Community Shop constantly twitching tails demonstrated what torment these clustered, patient, animals were undergoing as flies encircled their heads, backs, nether regions, and eyes. No sound did they make as they absorbed the airborne assault.

This evening we dined on Mr Pink’s excellent fish and chips, Garner’s choice pickled onions and Tesco’s tangy gherkins with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Rioja.


  1. I never realized how much horses and other animals are tormented by flies until I started reading your blog. I feel so bad for them.

    That one scarecrow entry definitely made me chuckle. ?

  2. I feel guilty. Yesterday evening I was complaining to Derek about the one annoying fly that kept landing on me while we were trying to enjoy the hummingbirds on the patio. There’s Jackie again, striking that pose! She’s a natural.

  3. Oh, those poor horses!! In northern New England, moose are the animals that get horribly tortured by flies to the point of fleeing the woods onto the highway.

    When I saw the title of your post come across my email, I was afraid you were being tortured by the WP Block Editor again!

  4. The ponies look like thy have queued up to enter that building. I remember the days of flies from when I had horses, long ago. It seemed some days there was no way for the animals to get away from them. Fly repellent only worked to a degree, and it was probably loaded with chemicals I don’t want to think about.

  5. Don’t give up on the other scarecrows. They’re out there somewhere, keeping the tradition alive. I’m glad horses have tails.

  6. The “man-muzzle” must be extreme punishment and a matter of shame for a proud canine protege. The ponies seem queued up in the first of the equine photos. Sadly, flies seem destined to be their scourge.

  7. Love the doggie and his Human-Bean! Great dialogue…great t-shirt! 😀

    Oh, those poor horses! Flies can be so annoying and even bite-y! 🙁 I imagine it is just part of life for them…but it still makes me sad.

    I wrote a short shape poem about this years ago… I will copy and paste it here…but I’m sure it will not keep it’s shape…the first 3 lines were like the horse’s body…the next three words like his tail, etc. 🙂

    as tolerant as
    a horse flicking
    away the flies
    on a muggy hot day!
    © CS.4.30.2014

    Jackie’s smile is as bright and beautiful as the garden flowers! 🙂

      1. Ah yes.. horse flies. They like to go for the eyes. I remember them well. (Well, now I do–had forgotten. My dad was a rancher so I spent some time around horses and cows.)

  8. Wat doen die vliegen? Ze gaan toch géén eitjes leggen in de ogen van de paarden en in hun vacht, want dan kom ik effe … , ga er tussenin staan en veeg hun ogen schoon … Dus in oktober gaat het weer een beetje … Die vliegen leggen eitjes in hun poep, dacht ik … Maar, ik weet wel, dat er soms een dierenarts aan te pas moet komen, omdat de hele huid kapot gevreten wordt door die vliegenlarven . . . Nee, ik ben niet van het platteland, maar soms kom ik er wel en dan maak ik wel wat mee, hoor … Natuurfilms, ik sla er niet ééntje over … Amsterdam, 2 september 2020 * *

  9. Love the picture of Jackie with the plate of tomatoes…. 🙂 and the scare crow… Had to smile… I always feel sorry for the torment of flies around horses eyes… etc….. But I am envious of their rights to roam the streets and love seeing them free to wander….
    Did you have a bucket handy Derrick… Some horse manure would be just the thing for that pruned rose bush… 😀

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